dcsimg
Find a School >
Healthcare Colleges Home > Healthcare Programs > Nurse Assisting Programs

Nurse Assisting Programs

Nurse Assisting Programs

What is Nurse Assisting?

Compassion, patience and communication skills are among the qualities that are needed in a career as a nurse aide. Also known as nursing aide or nursing assistant, these professionals work in hospitals and long-term care facilities such as nursing homes or residential centers with patients who are injured, sick or elderly. Under the supervision of licensed practical/vocational nurses or registered nurses, they provide basic healthcare such as monitoring temperature and blood pressure. They also help with other day-to-day activities such as bathing and dressing, moving patients or residents from beds to wheelchairs, and helping them to eat. Nursing aides may act as a liaison between the patient and the medical team. For more information, see our nurse assistant career page.

Nurse Assisting Program Overview

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nursing aides must typically earn a postsecondary certificate or award. Nurse aide training certificates may be offered by community colleges, vocational and technical colleges, healthcare facilities, high schools or other organizations. Most programs contain two components -- classroom study and supervised clinical practice. Classroom study is often available on campus in day, evening and weekend formats or online in a hybrid format. The supervised clinical practice component generally takes place on-site at the school or at a local healthcare facility.

Nurse Assisting Program Types

Nurse aide training programs differ depending on the state and the school. The time it takes to complete a program, ranging from several weeks to three months or more, varies based on the number of hours required and whether the student attends full or part time.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services Office, nurse aides who work in nursing homes that participate in Medicare and Medicaid have specific requirements -- they must complete a state-approved training program, pass a competency exam and receive certification in their state. Qualified programs should include at least 75 hours of training and 15 hours of supervised clinical experience. Individual states and programs have their own admission requirements that can include:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Recent physical and current immunizations
  • Verification of negative tuberculosis screening
  • No communicable diseases
  • Current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification
  • Satisfactory national criminal background check
  • Ability to lift at least 40 pounds to waist level

All states maintain registries to make sure that nurse aides in their jurisdictions have completed state-approved training and passed the state-approved exam. Some states use the National Nurse Aide Assessment exam developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), while others have developed their own exams. Exams generally consist of a written or oral segment and a skills-demonstration segment.

Some states award the title of Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) to those who meet all the requirements, but titles vary by state. CNAs must complete continuing education credits annually to maintain certification.

Nurse Assisting Course Descriptions

Coursework for nurse aide programs generally includes nursing theory and basic nursing. Core classroom courses can include:

  • Nursing Theory: The role of the nurse aide, including the importance of interpersonal communication, psychological and sociological aspects of nursing, and the impact of death and dying.
  • Basic Nursing: Basic body systems, monitoring vital signs, infection control, patient safety and comfort, nutrition and feeding, personal hygiene and emergency procedures.
  • Introductory Healthcare: Topics could include the effects of aging and disease, promotion of patient rights, and the need for patient restorative care and independence.

The clinical experience portion of nurse aide training programs typically involves the practical application of the concepts covered in classroom coursework.

List of Potential Careers for Nurse Assisting

A number of potential occupations are similar to nurse aide, including home health and personal care aide or hospice nursing assistant. Requirements for these positions may vary according to the employer -- for example, certified home health or hospice agencies may require candidates to complete additional formal training and an examination.

Nurse aides may also wish to explore the following related occupations:

  • Certified Medication Assistants: To earn the credentials to administer medication, candidates may need to receive their CNA certificate as well as complete the Medication Aide Certification Examination from the NCSBN.
  • Occupational Therapist Assistants: These professionals work with occupational therapists in order to help patients recover or improve the physical skills needed for daily living. The usual training includes an associate degree, and licensing may be preferred or required.
  • Physical Therapy Aides: These aides help patients who have lost mobility to regain their physical abilities through techniques such as targeted exercise. These healthcare workers usually need at least a high school diploma and on-the-job training.
  • Licensed Practical or Licensed Vocational Nurses: LPNs or LVNs work under registered nurses and physicians to provide patient care and monitor patients' health. Requirements include an approved nursing program and professional licensing through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Links to Sources and Associations

The following websites offer more information about nurse assistant training programs and requirements:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, "Home Health and Personal Care Aides," http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home-health-and-personal-care-aides.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, "Nursing Aides, Orderlies and Attendants," http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm

Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, "Nurse Aide Training," 2002, http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-05-01-00030.pdf

Houston Chronicle, "What are the Qualifications for a Certified Nurse's Aide," Jeffrey Joiner, http://work.chron.com/qualifications-certified-nurses-aide-13203.html

National Association of Health Care Assistants, http://www.nahcacares.org/

National Council of State Boards of Nursing, "Nurse Aide Assessment Program," https://www.ncsbn.org/1721.htm

National Network of Career Nursing Assistants, http://www.cna-network.org

North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation, "State Nurse Aide Registry List," http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dhsr/hcpr/links.html

Explore these online and campus healthcare programs

Refine School Matches
LOCATION
Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
SUBJECT
Clear All

See More

DEGREE

PROGRAM TYPE

START TIME

 
Results:  7
Matching School Ads
Certified Nurse Assistant
Platt College , Alhambra
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Patient Care Technician

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

About Education Corporation of America

Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

BS in Nursing (RN to BSN)

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.

  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
M.S. with Major in Nursing - Nursing Education
  • As a CCNE-accredited school of nursing, Wilkes University is fully committed to preparing our students for a career of lifelong learning and success in a constantly evolving, dynamic profession.
  • We offer online programs for nurses at any stage in their career. From our R.N. to M.S.N., to our Ph.D. in Nursing, choose the program that is right for you.
  • Learn from doctorally-prepared, highly qualified instructors. Our faculty are true "scholar-practitioners," and bring real-world experience to every subject.
  • Receive a supportive, student-focused online education. Our programs are designed so that you can complete coursework when and where it's convenient for you.
  • We offer accelerated completion options for qualified students in our R.N. to M.S.N. and M.S.N. programs – earn your master’s degree fully online and finish faster.
  • Our net tuition cost for nursing programs is among the most competitive for regionally accredited universities.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
Doctor of Education - Nursing Education
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
  • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
  • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
  • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
RN-BSN (Bachelor of Science) - Online
  • For the 12th consecutive year, Cal U was named one for the best schools in the Northeast by The Princeton Review 
  • Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017
  • Quality Online courses at Cal U have the same objectives, content and learning outcomes as campus-based programs and are taught by the same expert professors.
  • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost. Student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1
  • CAL U online programs complete an annual assessment of student learning to ensure outcomes are focused on your success in career entry, advancement or enhancement!
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Online Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate (MSN to FNP)
  • Ranked #4 among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as 2015 Military Friendly School by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Student to faculty ratio of 12:1, with an average class size of 21.
  • 85% of faculty holds a doctorate or terminal degree in their field.
  • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses